Do you love or hate this time of year? Do you get all excited to decorate your tree, bake cookies, watch all of the specials, and celebrate. Or does this time of year bring extra stress, loneliness or possibly both? Maybe you love it and hate it all at the same time. This time of year can really bring on a mixed bag of emotions with all of the expectations – self imposed and otherwise! I promise whatever you’re feeling, you’re not alone and it will pass. Good or bad.
Are you a Christmas cliche?
Growing up we were a Christmas cliche. You name it, we did it. We even drove around neighborhoods that were super decorated to look at their lights! Looking back as an adult though, I can imagine how stressful this time of year must have been for my mom. Having enough money in general was always a struggle so, the extra pressure to make sure we didn’t think Santa had forgotten us must have been really tough. But that didn’t stop her from making it feel magical.
Yet another life lesson from my mom.
As magical as all of those cliched experiences were, what stuck out for me the most was her compassion for others. She worked at a trade’s school where a lot of the students were young parents. There were always a few that weren’t able to buy presents so, my mom would buy a little something for each of them to give to their kids. But this wasn’t about her providing gifts. It was about her need to make others feel human, understood, and worthy.
My husband and I keep all of the Christmas cliche traditions alive and well – including watching my favorite special, Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, and listening to A Charlie Brown Christmas over and over. But most importantly, we keep my mom alive with the tradition of understanding, compassion and giving.
Whether you love, hate, or love+hate this time of year, my hope is that you can lose any expectation of what you think Christmas should look like or feel like and hold compassion in your heart for yourself and for others. After all, we’re all human (well, maybe some alien) and we’re all worthy.
P.S. I constantly use music to lift my mood and Christmas music is no exception. If you need a little lift (and aren’t one of those people that despise Christmas music), I’ve got a playlist with all of my favorites for you!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!